For $295, This ‘Sheriff’ Will Teach You to Be an Ass Like Him
Richard Mack hates masks. And he will train you to hate them, too—for a low, low price.
Never mind the tens of thousands of preventable deaths from COVID-19.
Never mind the many thousands of COVID survivors who will suffer lasting, perhaps lifelong, damage to their lungs or hearts.
Never mind those left with circulatory complications that can result in the loss of fingers, toes, or entire limbs.
Never mind thousands of others suffering neurological damage with an array of cognitive and psychological effects, including terrifying hallucinations.
Never mind reports that the wearing of masks and observance of social distancing seems to have begun to temper the spike of coronavirus infections in Arizona, Texas, and California.
A former Arizona sheriff is ready to ignore all that and charge people $295 to attend a virtual seminar where he will coach them on how to oppose those very lifesaving mandates.
Onetime Graham County Sheriff Richard Mack is the 67-year-old head of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Public Safety Officers Association (CSPOA). The “CSPOA Certification Class” he plans to begin teaching on Thursday will enable those who pay the fee to “connect with like minded people and help each other create more Liberty across the country!”
“Are You Ready To Create A Liberty Movement With Us?” the website asks. “End Tyranny In Your City & State... Help Restore Liberty Across The Country...End Mandated Masks.. End Mandated Vaccines.”
Participants will “get to ask Sheriff Mack questions, which means you can get knowledge from the first Sheriff in US history to sue the federal government and win in the Supreme Court!”
Mack did indeed sue the federal government back in 1994, challenging the constitutionality of the Brady Bill’s requirement for local sheriffs to run background checks at their own expense for gun-buyers. And he did in fact push it all the way to a successful 5-4 ruling in the Supreme Court.
“A monumental decision for freedom!” the CSPOA website declares.
At the time of that victory, Mack was in his second and final term as sheriff in his native Graham County. He left office in 1997, but continued to bill himself as Sheriff Mack as he became an activist against all forms of gun control. He was, after all, an inductee into the NRA Hall of Fame as well as a onetime NRA Law Officer of the Year.
He also became a passionate voice against such “big government” measures as Obamacare.
“The States do not have to take or support or pay for Obamacare or anything else from Washington D.C. The States are not subject to federal direction,” he declared on his website.
One hitch about being a self-appointed champion of liberty was that he did not have health insurance when he suffered a heart attack in 2015. His wife then fell ill, requiring multiple surgeries. He started a GoFundMe page.
“Because he and his wife are self-employed they do not have insurance to pay for their medical bills,” a friend wrote.
Friends and supporters kicked in $53,149.
“Sheriff Mack credits you with helping him to avoid bankruptcy and enabling him to resume his work with CSPOA and says he doesn’t know what he would have done without you,” the GoFundMe announced.
The page reported a new development in Mack’s life that carried what he had apparently come to recognize as a necessary benefit:
“He has accepted a new teaching position which provides health insurance and plans to make an even stronger recovery and work for better health in the year ahead, like the rest of us.”
Mack is now teaching American history with full benefits at a Phoenix high school high he prefers not to name. Any concern he has for the health of others is eclipsed by his view that mask mandates and social distancing requirements are dire threats to his constitutional rights. His face will be uncovered when he reports to the school on Wednesday for training in preparation for an online semester commencing next month.
“I’m sure some of the other teachers will be upset,” Mack told The Daily Beast on Monday. “I’ll tell them I’m one of the huddled masses yearning to breathe free… I'll just say, ‘It’s an individual choice. I don't tell you what to wear and don’t you tell me what to wear. And if you don’t like it, stay away from me.’”
Never mind that he and his fellow teachers will be preparing to teach an online semester due to a virus spike fueled in part by people who failed to wear masks and observe social distancing. Never mind that COVID has claimed the lives of such stellar Arizona teachers as Kimberly Byrd of Superior.
“I’m not here to talk about the efficacy of wearing a mask,” Mack told The Daily Beast on Monday, the start of a work week where he would both return to school and begin his CSPOA seminar. “I’m here to talk about liberty.”
He added, “To force me to wear a mask, force me to social distance, they don’t have the authority.”
He was not persuaded by the argument that this was a public health issue, despite the near-universal medical opinion that masks and social distancing can curtail the spread of the virus that has killed nearly 150,000 Americans.
“The Constitution protects us from our own best interests,” he actually said.
A considerable number of sheriffs across the country share his view of mask mandates. But he was not able to give a reporter an immediate tally of how many are presently affiliated with CSPOA.
“It’s like herding cats,” he reported..
The ex-lawman who still calls himself sheriff said that he personally refuses to observe the city and county mask mandates when he walks around the malls in his area.
“I exercise there,” he noted.
He was asked if he worried that he was endangering the health of others.
“I don't want to endanger my neighbor, but it’s not my responsibility to take care of my neighbor,” he said. “I still see my next door neighbor and he’s not wearing a mask, and neither am I.”
He offered advice to those who do not want to be around him and others who refuse to wear a mask that suggested his liberty comes before that of others.
As for himself, he insists that he no longer shakes hands with people and uses hand sanitizer and keeps a certain distance when he can. But he will not wear a mask no matter who it might endanger.
“I’m going to go about my life as best I can as a free American,” he said.
That includes when he goes to his school on Wednesday to prepare for another semester teaching kids forced to learn online at least partly because too many people in Arizona, like Mack, chose “liberty” over public health.
“I’d rather be doing it in person,” he said. “I absolutely love the kids.”